Civil war boat jump starts Navy memories - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Civil war boat jump starts Navy memories

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July 5, 2004

Albany - If you spent your holiday on the Flint River at Cromartie Beach you may have spotted a restored civil war boat. It's a boat that will bring back old memories of times past.

Cannons blasted and civil war sailors came back to life in Albany today.

The Captain yells, "Allright, let's cast off." A bit of nostalgia cast off on the Flint River.

Port Columbus Museum Executive Director, Bruce Smith, says, "When they see this they'll think old timey Navy."

Firing blanks in Dougherty County. Retired Chief Petty Officer, Raymond Harrell, laughs, "We Scared the fisherman probably and woke up a little late sleepers from the fourth of July."

The historic civil war Navy boat is about 50-years-old. Smith adds, "But, we have dressed it out to be 150 years old."

And dressed up with sailors from the past, which includes thick petty coats. Smith admits, "It's going to be warm, but it's worth it to come down here and perspire a little bit to make this the best event it can be."

An event that has launched the life back into the life boat.

In six months, the CSS Jackson Naval Reenactment Group restored the old boat. Injured not from battle wounds. Smith adds, "But, from hurricane damage in Virginia. It had holes in the side, the engine, nobody knew what the condition was and to see this six months later, it's unbelievable to see it. I mean, it looks brand new."

With a brand new diesel engine disguised as a steam engine.  Harrell smiles,  "Labor of Love. It brings back memories of the Navy working on Navy ships. We love our work, but we got to get on with other things now."

Memories that will dock at the Port Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus. 

Rewinding the hands of time, five knots at a time.

The civil war boat will be used for living history events at the Port Columbus National Civil War Museum and around the south.

The museum is open every day from nine to five.

posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com